Mr. McMaster’s White House arrival was met with scorn from strategists and analysts who advocated linking Islam to groups such as the Islamic State. They view the teachings of the Sunni Salafi movement as the ideology driving the Islamic State, al Qaeda and other Islamist groups to justify mass killings.
Like Mr. Trump, they want to label the enemy as a way of framing the debate on how to destroy it. They maintain that the Islamic State, rather than being un-Islamic, is rooted in Muslim scholarship and cannot be separated from Islam.
Mr. McMaster, on the other hand, has stated that the “Islamic State is not Islam.” He does not like labels such as “radical Islam.”
Of course, jihadis don't represent all of Islam. The fact that most victims of these jihadi scum are Moslems should indicate that. Afghanistan's national security advisor said as much:
"It is inappropriate to associate terrorism with Islam, because it fails to understand, to appreciate, the sacrifices that the Muslims are making in order to defeat terrorism, and the suffering that the Muslims have had at the hands of the terrorists," he told participants of the Asian Security Conference, being held this year in New Delhi.
The jihadis represent a small--although distressingly large enough to sustain a widespread terror campaign and lately a proto-state--portion of Moslems. These jihadis wish to define Islam in their hate- and murder-filled vision.
And mind you, by the nature of Islam which in theory combines religious and governmental roles, a higher percentage of Moslems have beliefs that conflict with Western notions of individual freedom and the rejection of a state-established church. But that's a separate issue. The West moved beyond that and so too can the Moslem world, in time. Indeed, when you look at how Moslem states are organized, with governing and legislative bodies that reflect Western designs, they've already made progress on that change.
The jihadis obviously draw from Islamic scripture to defend their version of Islam. There can be no doubt of that. Whether or not they are theologically accurate in their vision of Islam is irrelevant. Religious power grows from the barrel of a gun in this case.
So if the jihadis win the civil war within Islam, then the jihadis will get to define all of Islam as their hateful brand and enforce it on people far less willing to kill and torture and terrorize to get their way.
Which is why American help in fighting, killing, and defeating the jihadis is so important. We need to help the majority of non-jihadi Moslems defend a version of Islam that doesn't seek to kill us all--Westerners and non-compliant Moslems alike.
I personally think that the jihadis should be called "radical Islamists." Not because it automatically means we will fight them. Mere word choice doesn't mean that. Indeed, McMaster led troops in Iraq to kill them and defeat them quite effectively.
And I certainly don't prefer that kind of wording to taint all Moslems. Indeed, I prefer to call the jihadis radical Islamists or some other such term in order to distinguish them from the majority of Moslems who are not jihadis or their fanboys.
Given that the jihadis themselves are the ones who claim to speak for all Moslems--whether those people currently agree with that position of authority--you'd think this would be a rational distinction we could all agree on using.
So don't worry about McMaster despite his statements on the words, which I don't think is as accommodating as his critics allege, anyway. He will work to kill and defeat the jihadis. And as I've written, I think killing and defeating the jihadis is the best way to undermine their ideology.
I don't think McMaster is going to be the problem in waging war on these jihadi monsters.
UPDATE: In regard to this civil war, explain to me again why Western leftists side with the Islamists so much? Tip to Instapundit. Indeed, the efforts made to blame the Orlando terror attack on conservatives rather than Islamism was just bizarre.
UPDATE: Eric at Learning Curve emails that McMaster in many ways tested out the COIN approach of the surge with his successful campaign at Tal Afar. So he is much more than a successful combat commander. I agree. But thought that simply pointing out his pointy stick background would get the point across that he will be just fine.